Help:IPA for Portuguese

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Portuguese pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Portuguese phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Portuguese.

Key for European and Brazilian Portuguese

Distinction is noted between the two major standards—that of Portugal (EP) and of Brazil (BP). Neither variant is preferred over the other at Wikipedia, except in cases where a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant, such as a place in Brazil or a Portuguese artist.

National variant differences should be noted with discretion: when there are differing dialectal Brazilian Portuguese pronunciations from differing patterns of vowel reduction and voiced consonant lenition (that Brazilians indeed have in unstressed syllables), the one closest to the European Portuguese should generally be preferred, as that guideline is intended to help native speakers of other languages. The opposing Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation tends to be the more phonetically written one, and speakers in contact with a given Brazilian dialect would immediately get a clue as to when vowel reduction is not used despite it being optional.

IPA Consonants
Examples English approximation
b b beiço, âmbar, sob best
β cabeça, sobre [1] between baby and bevy (EP),
best (BP)
ð d cedo, idade [1] other (EP), dice (BP)
d dedo, lenda dice
digo, admite, idade [2] dice (EP), soldier (BP)
f fado, café face
ɡ ɡ gato, signo, bingo, guerra get
ɣ fogo, figueira between ago and ahold (EP),
get (BP)
k cor, dica, quente, kiwi scan
l l lua, alô lot
w mal [3] toll (EP), tow (BP)
ʎ lhe, velho [4] million
m mês, somo might
n não, sono not
ɲ nhoque, sonho canyon
p pó, sopa, apto spouse
ʁ ʁ rio, carro, enrascado,[5][6] lingerie guttural r
ɾ r, porto, por favor [5][6][7] US latter (EP), guttural r (BP)
ɾ frio, caro, por acaso [6][7] US latter
s saco, isso, braço, máximo sack
ʃ escola, as portas, dez, texto [8] sheep (EP), sack (BP)
ʃ chave, achar, xarope, baixo, sushi sheep
tchau, atchim chip
t tipo, ritmo, ponte [2] stand (EP), chip (BP)
t tempo, átomo stand
v vela, livro vest
ʒ ʒ já, gente rouge
z rasgo, os meus [8] rouge (EP), zebra (BP)
z casa, os amigos, doze, existir zebra
IPA Semivowels[9]
Examples English approximation
j saia, pais, cães, nuvem you / boy
w frequente, quão, mau, Cauã, vejam quick / glow
IPA Stressed vowels
(or with secondary stress)
Examples English approximation
a a alzheimer, Jaime,[10] dá, lámen, àquele father
ɐ falámos / falamos,[11] andaime[10] father, purse (RP)
ɐ falamos, câmera, bug purse (RP)
ɛ ɛ meta, sé, Émerson, cafezinho set
e prémio / prêmio set, they
e meto, sê [12] they
i si, dia, país, suíço, rainha,[13] diesel see
ɔ ɔ formosa, formosos, avó, somente UK lot
o Antônio / António UK lot, US  row
o avô, formoso US row
u rua, lúcido, saúde boot
IPA Unstressed vowels
ɐ ɐ taça, manhã[14] about
a maior, aquele, da about, grandma
a Camões, caveira grandma
ɛ e incrível, segmento[15] access, survey
ɨ semáforo emission, survey
i jure, pequeno[16], se emission, happy
i júri, meandro, e, doe[17] happy
ɔ o hospital[15] royale, US arrow
u sortudo outlook, US arrow
u evacuar, boneco[16], vi-o, voo, frio[17] outlook
IPA Suprasegmentals
Stress and syllabification
Examples Explanation
ˈ João [ʒuˈɐ̃w] (EP / BP) lexical stress
ˌ Vila-Chã [ˌvilɐˈʃɐ̃] (EP / BP) secondary stress
. Rio [ˈʁi.u] (EP / BP) syllable break
IPA Diacritics
◌̃ Chã [ˈʃɐ̃] (EP / BP)[18] nasal vowel
◌̥ silent vowel
IPA Other representations
( ) Douro [ˈdo(w)ɾu] (EP / BP) optional sound


  1. 1.0 1.1 In northern and central Portugal, /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are lenited to fricatives of the same place of articulation ([β], [ð], and [ɣ], respectively) in all places except after a pause, or a nasal vowel, in which contexts they are stops [b, d, ɡ], not dissimilar from English b, d, g (Mateus & d'Andrade 2000:11). Most often, it happens only in southern and insular Portugal and in Brazil in some unstressed syllables, generally in relaxed speech, but this is by no means universal.
  2. 2.0 2.1 In most varieties of Brazilian Portuguese, /d, t/ are palatalized and affricated to post-alveolar before high front vowels /i, ĩ/ except in certain dialects of Northeast of Brazil, such as Central northeastern Portuguese /d, t/ are preferably pronounced alveolar or dental mode before high front vowels /i, ĩ/).
  3. Final /l/ is velarized in European Portuguese.
  4. /ʎ/ has merged with [j] in some dialects of Brazilian Portuguese, specially the caipira one.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The rhotic consonant represented as /ʁ/ has considerable variation across different variants, being pronounced as [x], [h], [χ], [ɦ], [ʁ], etc., in Brazil and as [ʁ], [ʀ], [r], etc., in Portugal. See also Guttural R in Portuguese.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The rhotic consonants /ɾ/ ⟨r⟩ and /ʁ/ ⟨rr⟩ contrast only between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ⟨r⟩, with /ʁ/ occurring word-initially, after ⟨l⟩, ⟨n⟩, and ⟨s⟩ and in compounds; /ɾ/ is found elsewhere.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The realization of syllable-final ⟨r⟩ varies amongst dialects; it is generally pronounced as an alveolar tap [ɾ] in European Portuguese and some Brazilian dialects (e.g. Rio Grande do Sul state and São Paulo city), as a coronal approximant ([ɹ] or [ɻ]) in various other Brazilian dialects, and as a guttural R in all others (e.g. Rio de Janeiro city, the overwhelmingly majority from the Northeast). Additionally, in some Brazilian Portuguese dialects, word-final ⟨r⟩ may be weakened to complete elision in infinitives; e.g. ficar [fiˈka] (no ⟨r⟩ is pronounced but as a tap [ɾ] only if it is followed by a vowel sound in the same phrase or prosodic unit: ficar ao léu [fiˈkaɾ aw ˈlɛw]). This is very similar to the linking R used in some accents of English, e.g. Received Pronunciation or Australian English.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mostly in Brazil, the fricatives /s/ and /z/ are not palatalized between syllables or coda positions, but there is a strong palatalization of them in some dialects, such as fluminense, carioca, northern, recifense and florianopolitan (/s/ becomes /ʃ/ and /z/ becomes /ʒ/). Since in most dialects of the northeast region of Brazil, palatalization of fricatives occurs only before stop or affricate consonants (/d, t, dʒ, tʃ/), such in as the word texto [ˈteʃtu].
  9. Intervocalic glides are ambisyllabic, they're part of previous falling diphthongs and they're geminated to next syllable onset. Examples of such pronunciations are goiaba [ɡojˈjabɐ] and Cauã for [kawˈwɐ̃].
  10. 10.0 10.1 Most Brazilian dialects have closed ⟨a⟩ for stressed sequences ⟨ai⟩ when it comes before /m/ and /n/. In many dialects it is also nasalized. Many speakers of those dialects, including broadcast media has open ⟨a⟩ for some words like Jaime and Roraima.
  11. First-person plural past tense in European Portuguese has open ⟨a⟩, and present tense has closed ⟨a⟩. Both conjugated with closed ⟨a⟩ in Brazilian Portuguese
  12. In the dialect of Lisbon, /e/ merges with /ɐ/ when it comes before palatal sounds (e.g. abelha, venho, jeito).
  13. There is no diphthong before palatal consonant, so hiatuses are not indicated before /ɲ/ (e.g. rainha /ʁaˈiɲɐ/).
  14. In Brazilian Portuguese, pre-stressed close ⟨a⟩ only is obligatory before /ɲ/, and has tendency to raise before other nasal consonant. In many dialects nasalization also is obligatory before /ɲ/, Wetzel proposes such nasalized dialects have phonemic palatal gemination (e.g. canhoto /kaɲˈɲotu/ [kɐ̃ˈɲotu]). See Consoantes palatais como geminadas fonológicas no Português Brasileiro*
  15. 15.0 15.1 The "northern dialects" (restricted to North and Northeast Brazil) and Rio de Janeiro do not follow the Standard Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation in terms of unstressed vocalism (the standard pronunciation of these vowels are always closed /e, o/, as in "perereca" [peɾeˈɾɛkɐ] and "horário" [oˈɾaɾju], but on those dialects, they are open vowels /ɛ, ɔ/, and the pronunciations of these words to change for [pɛɾɛˈɾɛkɐ] and [ɔˈɾaɾju].
  16. 16.0 16.1 In words such as "perigo" [pɪˈɾigu] and "boneco" [bʊˈnɛku], for example, vowels ⟨e, o⟩ pre-stressed syllables may be pronounced, respectively, as [ɪ, ʊ] in some varieties of Brazilian Portuguese, instead of [i, u].
  17. 17.0 17.1 Some of the post-stressed high vowels in hiatuses, as in frio ('cold') and rio ('river'), may vary between a reduced vowel [ˈfɾi.u] and a glide [ˈfɾiw], exceptions are verbal conjugations, forming pairs like eu rio [ˈew ˈʁi.u] (I laugh) and ele riu [ˈelɨ ˈʁiw] (he laughed).
  18. Nasal vowels in Portuguese are /ɐ̃/, /ẽ/, /ĩ/, /õ/ and /ũ/

External links